When I was writing the post about how I like the new prayer room, I thought of the very touchy subject which no one around here talks about openly: we’re a prayer room, are we a church?
We’re still RHOP, same staff, most of the same teams, but now we’re a prayer room inside of a church. I was put in an awkward position recently when asked the question, “Oh, is that a church?” Before, I could always confidently answer, “No, but it’s like a church” (while thinking in my head it’s really what the Church
should look like). But I was like a deer in headlights when posed that question the other day. I stared at the woman with a rather confused thought process as I stuttered, “Uh no, it’s like a church, it’s like a church.” But I walked away thinking, I dunno, is it a church now?
RHOP never claimed to be a church. Whenever someone asked directly, we deflected by saying that we never meant to take the place of the local church, only to facilitate a place of prayer for those called to sit before the Lord (1 Chronicles 15–17). Maybe now we could say that we’re just a prayer room inside of a church. But the goal with moving locations was to transform this church into a house of prayer, so that one’s out. So we’re back to the question: is it a church?
The reason why I said we deflected in saying that we didn’t want to take the place of the local church is because my opinion is that a prayer room is what the Church is supposed to look like. Now, we by no means walk in the fullness of that, but it is a more apostolic entity than any other I have encountered.
So yes, I do believe we are a church, of sorts. I don’t want to get into the whole subject of where the Church is in her spiritual walk (i.e. living out the sermon on the mount). I guess I’m just trying to make that point that as a prayer room we’re not trying to take the place of the Church, we’re trying to transform her.